Creating the world’s best ride.

JapanTaxi leverages technology, including Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, to drive better passenger experiences.

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Established

1977

50%

Improvement in work efficiency through integrations

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Objectives

Deliver the world’s best ride through use of technology

Streamline design work with in-house production

Create high-quality products for low cost

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Results

Faster production to meet tight deadlines

50% Improvement in work efficiency through integrations

Reduced costs while achieving quality design

Ability to add animation to the mobile app with ease

Leveraging IT in a specialized industry

Making people happy through movement: that is the goal of JapanTaxi Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nihon Kotsu Co., Ltd., the largest taxi and hired car company in Japan. Based around the theme of “IT x Transportation, Mobility Innovation”, JapanTaxi brings the power of technology, both hardware and software, into the taxi industry to develop the world’s best ride. In recent years, the company has received significant attention for its smartphone app, Zenkoku Takushii, which translates to Nationwide Taxi.

 

Zenkoku Takushii is an app that allows users to call a taxi just by setting the pickup location on a map. There are other similar services available in Japan, but this is the only app that works with taxi companies in all 47 prefectures across Japan.

 

In addition to its work developing and promoting adoption of the app, JapanTaxi works with advertisers to turn taxis into a new advertising medium. For example, JapanTaxi may create a special visual design to advertise a project on the outside of the taxi. The advertising industry has recognized JapanTaxi’s efforts to turn the entire taxi into an advertising medium. For one sponsor, a beverage manufacturer, JapanTaxi placed curtains and wind chimes in the taxi to support the advertisement. JapanTaxi also leads the industry with next-generation technology initiatives, such as installing 10-inch digital signage in all 4,100 vehicles in the Nihon Kotsu fleet.


“Using in-house resources instead of outsourcing results in high-quality projects for a lower cost and with a smoother workflow.”

 
Ms. Hisano Kuroki

Assistant Director, Marketing Department, JapanTaxi Co., Ltd.


Bringing creative work in-house 

JapanTaxi continually challenges itself to support improvements to taxi rides through technology. One area where JapanTaxi distinguishes itself from other companies is how it handles all creative work in-house, from app development to design of promotional materials and specially designed taxis.

 

“The taxi industry is quite a unique business, and people working on projects must have an understanding of industry customs and related regulations in order to deliver projects at a consistent level of quality,” says Ms. Hisano Kuroki, Assistant Director, Marketing Department. “Using in-house resources instead of outsourcing results in high-quality projects for a lower cost and with a smoother workflow.”

 

JapanTaxi not only designs its special versions of taxis in-house, it also handles all of the steps to complete the vehicle in-house, from printing the design to affixing the design to the vehicle. The design wraps can stretch or shrink depending on the temperature, so the design must be adjusted slightly depending on the season. JapanTaxi enhances its creative strengths by leveraging this type of specialized knowledge with in-house workflows and bringing designs to life using apps in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.


“One aim of in-house production is cost reduction, and this desire to reduce costs makes it difficult to purchase fonts other than those needed for brand logos. Typekit, with its wide selection of available fonts, really helps out.”

 
Ms. Aya Miyasato

Designer, Development Department, JapanTaxi Co., Ltd.


Further reducing costs

Designers primarily use Adobe Illustrator to create the special designs for taxis. Ms. Aya Miyasato, a designer in the Development Department, oversees these designs.

 

“There are currently four models of taxis used at Nihon Kotsu, and we create designs based on each template,” says Ms. Miyasato. “The general process is the same as with graphic design, but the most difficult thing is that we’re designing for a large object, namely a vehicle. It can be difficult to imagine what the final design will look like running through the streets based on what we see on screen.”

 

Ms. Miyasato is also in charge of promotional materials for Zenkoku Takushii, such as trifold brochures and advertising stickers. Adobe Typekit is very helpful during this process due to its large library of Japanese fonts.

 

“One aim of in-house production is cost reduction, and this desire to reduce costs makes it difficult to purchase fonts other than those needed for brand logos,” says Ms. Miyasato. “Typekit, with its wide selection of available fonts, is really helpful.”

 

Ms. Miyasato is also in charge of designing the logo guideline manual for partner taxi companies participating in the Zenkoku Takushii app. She uses Adobe InDesign for this design.


“I started using After Effects because an engineer suggested that using it to create animations would make the job easier. When I actually started using it, we could smoothly add animations to the app, so it was a big help.”

 
Ms. Ayaka Nasu

Designer, Development Department, JapanTaxi Co., Ltd.


Boosting work efficiency

Most designers move back and forth between Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to design logos and other promotional materials. Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries contributes to greater efficiency by managing images and assets created with various Adobe apps in the cloud. Designers can easily bring assets into applications when needed.

 

“For example, when designing in Adobe Illustrator, opening Adobe Photoshop every time we want to open a logo is inefficient,” says Ms. Miyasato. “Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries makes this effort unnecessary, which is quite helpful. Furthermore, there’s no need to double-check versions of assets beforehand, since we always know that we’re using the latest version from the library. Making use of these services contributes to a 50% improvement in work efficiency.”

 

The company also takes advantage of the cloud-based team communication tool Slack to share information internally. Using Slack, designers can share Creative Cloud files, folders, libraries, and assets. Team members appreciate how they can preview .psd and .ai files even on computers that don’t have Adobe Creative Cloud installed.

Improving animation efficiency

JapanTaxi also uses Adobe products for UI design for the app. Ms. Ayaka Nasu, Designer for the Development Department, oversees UI design for Zenkoku Takushii. She particularly praises Adobe After Effects for its ability to handle digital compositing for video and create motion graphics. 

 

JapanTaxi offers a service where it sends users virtual stamps when they use Zenkoku Takushii. When users gather enough stamps, they are given a coupon. The digital signage in the taxi plays an animation showing users that they have gained points. This animation was created using Adobe After Effects.

 

“I started using After Effects because an engineer suggested that using it to create animations would make the job easier,” says Ms. Nasu. “When I actually started using it, we could smoothly add animations to the app, so it was a big help.”

 

Furthermore, Zenkoku Takushii uses the design of the lamp on top of the taxi as the icon for partner taxi companies. This design is also done in Illustrator. JapanTaxi plans to continue using the latest design tools in the future and actively pursue in-house production design.

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